Has the Time Come for Another Mexican Punitive Campaign?

Dave Gibson, Norfolk Examiner, August 5, 2009

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson ordered General John J. Pershing to lead an invasion into Mexico, against Pancho Villa’s forces. Villa’s bandits were making constant incursions into the United States and regularly robbing, raping, and killing Americans living in towns along the border. These criminals operated openly due to rampant corruption among Mexican political and military leaders.

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Units of the Mexican military regularly cross the border into this country. The well-armed units escort drug and human smugglers and even fire upon U.S. Border Patrol agents. It is estimated that Latin drug cartels spend more than $500 million annually paying off high-ranking Mexican military and police officials.

Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) said in a 2002 interview: “There’s no doubt Mexican military units along the border are being controlled by drug cartels, and not by Mexico City. The military units operate freely, with little or no direction, and several of them have made numerous incursions into the United States.”

In January 2008, the Department of Homeland Security reported that since 1996, there had been 278 known incursions by the Mexican military into the United States. They are often seen providing armed escort to drug smugglers. Incredibly, the Mexican military now enters our nation at will, with no response from the U.S. government.

Illegal aliens account for 29 percent of our total prison population. Many more Mexican criminals still roam our streets. The 18th Street Gang, and MS-13 have already taken over the streets of Los Angeles, now they are staking-out territory across the country. One million Mexican criminals is the equivalent to 50 divisions of enemy soldiers within this country.

In 2002, members of Mexico´s Arellano Felix crime organization set up shop in the San Diego area, and began a kidnapping and extortion operation. Fearing reprisals, their victims failed to report the incidents to police, and went undetected for years. During that time, the gang used their profits to purchase weapons, police uniforms, badges, even police lights for their vehicles.

In 2007, Los Palillos were finally busted by local and federal law enforcement.

Police claim that the group, known as Los Palillos (the Toothpicks), murdered at least a dozen people, committed 20 kidnappings and transported huge amounts of methamphetamine to Kansas City, Mo., to help finance their organization´s ongoing war with the Tijuana Cartel in Tijuana, all of course, from San Diego County.

In August 2008, the FBI´s San Diego field office admitted that they were currently investigating the kidnapping of 16 U.S. residents who were held in Tijuana between October 2007 and May 2008, including many of whom were abducted in San Diego.

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The Houston Chronicle recently reported that the 2006 murder of Houston resident Jose Perez, 27 had been solved, and was actually carried-out by hit men working for one of the cartels.

{snip} His murder was in fact, a case of mistaken identity.

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The actual target of the assassination was the Houston-based head of a Mexican drug cartel cell, responsible for distributing millions of dollars worth of cocaine into the city. The two spotters working with the shooter, misidentified Perez as the crime boss.

As a glaring example of just how bad the cartel violence has become in the Houston area, a few months after Perez was murdered, the hit man who killed him, was also murdered only two miles from the restaurant.

Houston police have arrested the alleged mastermind behind the murder plot, Jaime Zamora, 38, and charged him with capital murder. In addition to his alleged activities on behalf of the cartel, Zamora worked for Houston’s Parks and Recreation Department, and has lived in Houston for many years.

Houston has also been the scene of many kidnappings orchestrated by cells working for the drug cartels. One such harrowing incident took place in 2006, when used-car dealer David DeLeon was kidnapped and held for ransom.

DeLeon was tortured and beaten so severely (once even being thrown across the room), that his face actually became unrecognizable. Fortunately, DeLeon was successfully rescued by Houston police.

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Of course, the number of kidnappings seen in the Houston area, pale in comparison to those occurring in Phoenix.

According to the Phoenix Police Department, there were 359 kidnappings and more than 300 home invasions during 2008. However, police estimate the actual numbers to be closer to three times as high as the reported figures. Many victims fail to report such crimes, out of fear from further retribution from the notoriously violent cartels.

In November 2008, Phoenix Police Lt. Lori Burgett told CBS News: “It wasn´t uncommon to have a new kidnapping case coming into our offices on a daily basis.”

In April 2008, the U.S. Justice Department´s National Drug Intelligence Center released a situation report, illustrating just how widespread the activities of Mexican drug cartels have become throughout the U.S.

The sobering assessment read: “Mexican DTO´s (Drug Trafficking Organizations) are the most pervasive organizational threat to the United States. They are active in every region of the country and dominate the illicit drug trade in every area except the Northeast. Mexican DTO´s are expanding their operations in the Northeast and have developed cooperative relationships with DTO´s in that area in order to gain a larger share of the Northeastern drug market.”

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According to the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center, more than one cartel has adopted Atlanta as their principal distribution center for the east coast.

During 2008, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized $70 million in cash in Atlanta, which surpassed every other U.S. region. By March, over $30 million had been seized in Atlanta for 2009, as compared to $19 million in Los Angeles, and $18 million in Chicago.

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According to the FBI, there are three Mexican cartels (Federation, Gulf Coast, Juarez) are now operating in Atlanta.

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A 2009 Justice Department report identified 231 U.S. cities in which the cartels now operate. The list stretches from Tucson, AZ (Federation, Juarez) to Buffalo, NY (Gulf Coast).

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The leadership of the cartels is in Mexico, and despite the strong words coming from Mexican President Calderon, that leadership is largely protected by the very corrupt Mexican government. Just as our police officers are not able to stop the cartels, many of their police officers are not even willing to try.

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